Medical-Surgical: Left versus Right Heart Failure

LEFT HEART FAILURE

  • left = “lungs” = respiratory symptoms
  • blood backs up into the lungs due to failure of the left side of the heart
  • classic symptoms: dyspnea, crackles in lungs

RIGHT HEART FAILURE

  • blood backs up into the periphery due to failure of the right side of the heart
  • classic symptoms: edema, jugular vein distention (JVD), hepatomegaly, splenomegaly
Image source.
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